DJI says it will release a mandatory firmware update for its Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to restrict flights in certain airspace.
According to DJI, the new safe-flight features will help users comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flights in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in the coming days and adds a no-fly zone centered on downtown Washington, D.C., and extends for a 25 km (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace.
The restriction is part of a planned extension of DJI’s no-fly-zone system, which prohibits flights near airports and other locations where flight is restricted by local authorities. These extended no-fly zones will include over 10,000 airports registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and will expand no-fly zones to ensure they cover the runways at major international airports.
DJI adds that it is also continuing to update its no-fly-zone list in compliance with local regulations to include additional sensitive locations and to prevent flight across national borders.
These new safety features will be released across DJI’s flying platforms in the near future.
A DJI Phantom recently crashed onto the lawn of the White House; reports indicated that the pilot, a government employee, had been drinking.
“With the unmanned aerial systems community growing on a daily basis, we feel it is important to provide pilots additional tools to help them fly safely and responsibly,” says Michael Perry, DJI’s company spokesperson. “We will continue cooperating with regulators and lawmakers to ensure the skies stay safe and open for innovation.”